Tracy Darrell "Trace" Adkins was born in Sarepta, Louisiana to Aaron Adkins, a mill worker, and the former Peggy Carraway. His uncle was the Christian musician James W. Carraway (1923–2008).
Trace once cut off the pinkie finger on his left hand while using a knife to open a bucket, and he asked the doctors to reattach it in a useful position to make up for losing the ability to move it. They made his finger permanently crooked to fit around the neck of a guitar.
Trace got his big break while singing at Tillie's & Lucy's honky-tonk bar in Nashville. He was spotted by Scott Hendricks, president/CEO of Capitol Nashville, and quickly signed to a recording contract.
Adkins was a promising football player and made the team at Louisiana Tech as a freshman. After suffering a knee injury, he decided to stop playing on the advice of his orthopedic surgeon, who warned that another injury could lead to a permanent limp.
Trace's acting credits include playing a tough biker in The Lincoln Lawyers and the title role in a western called The Virginian.
He was the voice for recurring character Elvin on the King of the Hill cartoon.
Trace has two daughters from his first marriage to Barbara Lewis - Tarah (b. 1983) and Sarah (b. 1985), as well as three daughters from his third marriage to Rhonda Forlaw - Mackenzie (b. 1998), Brianna (b. 2001) and Trinity (b. 2004).
His second wife, Julie, shot Trace during a domestic dispute in 1994. The bullet went through his heart and both lungs. He survived and chose not to press charges.
All three of Trace's daughters from his marriage to Rhonda have featured in his videos. Mackenzie was in the "More" clip, Brianna in the one for "Ladies Love Country Boys" and Trinity in the "Just Fishin'
Trace's home in Brentwood, Tennessee was completely destroyed by a fire on June 4, 2011. His three youngest daughters were there at the time with a babysitter. Thankfully, Trace and wife Rhonda had taught the girls an 'in case of fire' plan, and they rushed outside to safety, unharmed. The fire was caused by an overheated or loose electrical connection in a power strip in the singer's garage.
Trace was the Celebrity winner of The Apprentice USA in 2013. His final challenge was to create a flavor of ice cream for Walgreens, film a commercial promoting it and host an ice cream social. During the run of the show, the Louisiana native raised $564,000 for his charity, the American Red Cross.
Adkins was 32 when he got his first record contract: a 6-month development deal with Arista Records. That went nowhere, but Capitol signed him after their head, Scott Hendricks, saw Trace perform. Hendricks had met Adkins in an airport, and decided to check out the show because he was so impressed with his speaking voice. He figured if Adkins could sing like he talks, he'd be a winner.
Adkins says he's "terrible at rehearsals." When putting a set together for a tour, he never knows how it's going to go over live, so as soon as the tour kicks off, he starts changing the set and arrangements. It's usually not until the end of the tour that he's happy with it.
Trace Adkins married his fourth wife, the Canadian actress Victoria Pratt, in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 12, 2019. The two worked together on The Virginian in 2013.